Russell Robinson, SG, Gauchos: We've seen him steal the show in big games (see December City of Palms performance) so we were hardly surprised when he did it again in the finals against Memphis. The guy wants the ball in his hands in big situations. Great effort throughout the weekend.
Robert Swift, C, California Team Select: We thought he played well at the Boo Williams and that continued here. The kid has solid post moves and every now and then he'll finish with a dunk. The Trojans did well for themselves with him.
Isaiah Swann, SG, DC Blue Devils: In one playoff game he made four 3-pointers in a row. He single handedly ended the Dallas Mustangs' hopes of advancing. Overall he had a very nice weekend in Houston.
Brian Johnson, PF, DC Blue Devils: His final game of the event against Memphis proved to be his best. He scored 17 points but they were impressive. Johnson got out of the gate quickly by rebounding and staying active. He made a few face ups and showcased the skill we know he's got in his bag of tricks.
Shawne Williams, SF, Memphis: He looked a little tired in his team's final two games but he had 12 points and 6 rebounds against the D.C. Blue Devils. A 30-foot bounce pass in transition really spoke well about his talent level. Plus, he did what we previously thought might not be doable and met James Gist at the rim and rejected his shot.
Keith Brumbaugh, PF/SF, Team Florida: He put up big scoring numbers throughout the weekend. The forward did a lot of damage from the perimeter where he made 3s and medium-range jumpers. He likes to shoot it but to his credit, he was making them.
Byron Eaton, PG/SG, Dallas Mustangs: He's the 2005 version of Andre Allen - fast, powerful and likes to get to the rim. He's really tough to guard going to the basket.
Off The Dribble
The DC Blue Devils big man James Gist plays like someone pointed a canon at the basket and shot him out of it. Derrick Character did not play in his team's morning game. Reasons? Unknown. . Kevin Langford really played well in a mid-day game for Team Texas. It was the most effective we'd seen him all spring and he did some work in the paint.
Channing Toney of the Georgia Stars is the son of former NBA standout Andrew Toney. He played well this weekend and scored the ball from the perimeter. New York teams are doing well this spring. The Gauchos captured this event and Riverside Church was victorious at the Boo Williams.
News & Notes
UCLA's Ben Howland, Southern Cal's Henry Bibby and Washington's Lorenzo Romar were up early watching California Team Select at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Cincinnati, DePaul and Michigan State sent assistants to watch the Illinois Warriors' DeAaron Williams. Ben Braun was in the stands watching forward Eric Veirneisel on Sunday morning.
Among the crew watching James Gist's first game of the day were Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt's, Virginia coach Pete Gillen and Tennessee's Buzz Peterson. Isaiah Swann's list now reads: Maryland, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, UConn and Virginia.
Peterson followed Memphis small forward Shawne Williams around much of the day. Williams' list reads Houston, Memphis, Cincinnati, Maryland, Tennessee and Kentucky. Who leads? Try Memphis and Houston at this point. It's no secret that Tommy Amaker is a big fan of Mohamed Tangara. The Michigan coach was in the stands with assistant Charles Ramsey today.
Missouri head coach Quin Snyder was in the stands watching Jason Horton again. The whispers in the gym place Missouri in a leadership position with Horton. Texas sent assistant coach Rodney Terry to watch Lamarcus Aldridge. If you like whispers, the hush hush is that Texas could be on the verge of getting a commitment from him. Duke coach Chris Collins represented his school in front of Alexander Kaun today. DeMarcus Nelson was injured and did not play on Sunday.
Bigger and Better?
Next year's Kingwood Classic will take place after Westfield High has received a face lift. Energetic tournament director Hal Pastner told us that they are building four new gyms next to the main gym at Westfield High. That means the spring's largest basketball event could get even bigger in the coming years.